Suspect identified in high-speed chase Monday night on I-70

Valeriy Sergeyevich Statovoy
Summit County Sheriff’s Office

FRISCO — The suspected car thief who crashed following a high-speed pursuit that ended at the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnels on Monday night has since been identified as Valeriy Sergeyevich Statovoy.

At about 9 p.m. Monday, a Silverthorne Police Department officer spotted a gray sedan traveling north on Colorado Highway 9 — near the Interstate 70 interchange at Exit 205 — without its headlights on, according to a news release from the town of Silverthorne. The officer identified the car as matching the description of a vehicle involved in a possible kidnapping near Dillon earlier that night.

The officer observed the suspect — later identified as Statovoy — make an “erratic” U-turn on Highway 9 at Rainbow Drive to head south. The suspect then briefly stopped at the red light before running the light and continuing onto the eastbound I-70 on-ramp.

The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop, at which point the car made a U-turn on the on-ramp. According to the arrest affidavit, Statovoy then allegedly drove into oncoming traffic on the westbound turn lane of Colorado Highway 6 before striking a vehicle. He then turned around again and headed back onto the eastbound I-70 on-ramp and continued down the interstate, where the pursuit began.

During the pursuit, the affidavit alleges Statovoy slammed on his vehicle’s brakes and abruptly changed lanes an attempt to cause a collision with patrol vehicles. Police said speeds reached up to 100 mph during the pursuit. The suspect made it through the Eisenhower Tunnel before he lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Colin Remillard said the car caught fire after the crash and that the east and westbound lanes of I-70 were closed near the tunnels for a short time.

At that point, officers were advised that neither Statovoy nor the vehicle were involved in the possible kidnapping. Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons told the Summit Daily News on Tuesday that the Summit County Sheriff’s Office currently doesn’t believe there was a kidnapping or an attempted kidnapping Monday night, though the incident is still under investigation.

After the crash, Statovoy ignored orders from police, hopped the median and ran across the westbound lanes of traffic, according to the affidavit. Officers lost sight of him after he ran into a wooded area. While searching the area, a Colorado Department of Transportation employee advised the officers Statovoy was hiding behind a bush.

Statovoy eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. The arrest affidavit notes that he was unsteady on his feet, and had glossy eyes and slowed speech during his arrest. He was medically assessed at the scene and taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco.

In addition to Silverthorne police, State Patrol, the Frisco Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office were on scene during the incident.

Dispatch then informed officers that the gray sedan was reported stolen earlier out of Glenwood Springs. While searching the area where Statovoy was hiding, police found a wallet with the identification cards of three individuals, including the ID card and bank cards of the car’s registered owner. Dispatch also informed officers that Statovoy’s driver’s license was under restraint and that he had other active cases.

Statovoy consented to a blood test at the hospital. He was released at 11:15 p.m. and taken to the Summit County Jail on charges of felony vehicular eluding, driving under the influence, aggravated motor vehicle theft, first-degree assault, criminal possession of a financial device, criminal possession of an identification document, obstructing a peace officer and a number of other traffic violations.

Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown said Statovoy wasn’t advised on Tuesday. The suspect is expected to be in court for a hearing sometime Wednesday.  

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